The Minnesota Wild overcame a bad call in the first period and heavy legs to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in a seven-round shootout Friday at Rogers Arena.
Darcy Kuemper stole the win for the Wild. He was well positioned, calm and played with a lot of confidence.
The one blemish on his night is probably a shot that he would like to have back. That was the one mistake the rookie made through 65 minutes and seven shootout attempts.
Justin Fontaine had not taken a shootout attempt in the NHL, but was called upon in the seventh round after six players on each team had gone scoreless. Fontaine was the only Wild shooter to attempt a double move on Eddie Lack and scored the winner.
Ryan Kesler got the Canucks on the board five minutes and 19 seconds into the game with a short-handed goal. The US Olympian beat Kuemper cleanly with a wrist shot from the top of the circles
The Wild (33-21-7) thought they got the tying several minutes before actually getting the game-tying goal when Keith Ballard fired a shot through traffic, off the inside of the post and around the back of the net. Referee Brad Meier waved the goal off for goaltender interference by Erik Haula. Haula performed the perfect screen and never touched Canucks goaltender Lack and was not in the crease.
Zach Parise reached the 20-goal plateau at the 14:12 mark of the first period by firing a shot from the top of the circles through a screen with the man advantage. Despite missing 15 games, Parise netted his 11th power play goal of the season, which is tied for fourth among all players in the league.
The Canucks (28-24-10) dominated the third period with 9-3 edge in shots on goal, but they had the puck in the Wild’s zone for almost the entire time. Overtime was closer to even, but a power play helped the Canucks carry more of the play.
Parise committed a big mistake in overtime when he pushed Chris Tanev dangerously into the boards one minute and 27 seconds into the extra session. Matt Cooke, Kyle Brodziak, Nate Prosser and Kuemper kept the Canucks at bay.
The Wild return to action Monday against the Calgary Flames at the Xcel Energy Center.
No. 3 – Eddie Lack. The Canucks goaltender stooped 22 shots and six shootout attempts.
No. 2 – Zach Parise. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 1 – Darcy Kuemper. The Wild goaltender stopped 30 shots and all seven shootout attempts.
Minnesota……1 0 0 0 – 2
Vancouver……1 0 0 0 – 1
First Period – 1, Vancouver, Kesler 21 (Higgins), 5:19 (sh). 2, Minnesota, Parise 20 (Pominville, Granlund) 14:12 (pp). Penalties – D. Sedin, VAN (hooking), 4:43; Hansen, VAN (boarding), 12:27.
Second Period – None. Penalties – Kesler, VAN (hooking), 15:12.
Third Period – None. Penalties – Spurgeon, MIN (cross checking), 4:11.
Overtime – None. Penalties – Parise, MIN (boarding), 1:27.
Shootout – Minnesota: Parise (save), Coyle (miss), Pominville (save), Granlund (save), Niederreiter (save), Heatley (save), Fontaine (goal). Vancouver: Kassian (save), Burrows (save), Higgins (save), Schroeder (save), Diaz (miss), Kesler (save), Booth (save).
Shots on goal – Minnesota 13-6-3-1 23. Vancouver 10-11-9-1 31.
Goalies – Minnesota, Kuemper (30-31). Vancouver, Lack (22-23). Referees – Ghislain Hebert, Brad Meier. Linesmen – Steve Miller, Mark Wheler.